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Alder Spring Trail



0.9 mile 1.5 kilometer point to point
95% Runnable


Ascent: 11' 3 m
Descent: -199' -61 m
High: 2,193' 668 m
Low: 2,004' 611 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 13% (8°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by David Hitchcock

A rolling trail through fields and meadows.

David Hitchcock

Features Views · Wildlife

The preserve is open year round from dawn until half an hour after sunset.

Runner Notes

The trail is free of obstructions, making it easy for running.


The Alder Spring Trail begins roughly .3 miles down the Charquin Trail off of Skyline Boulevard. The trail breaks off to the left and begins its descent along the hillside. The trail weaves in and out of meadows and woods at a gentle rate of descent. At .3 miles, the trail descends more steeply down a hill and crosses a ravine where water flows in the winter, especially after rainstorms.

The trail emerges from the woods and meets up with the Hawk Ridge Trail that begins to climb the hillside to the right. The Alder Spring Trail goes off to the left and follows the contour of the hill. Looking up to your right, you can see other runners on the Hawk Ridge Trail while views of the preserve and surrounding mountains sit off to your left. The trail finally ends at a gate near the boundary of the preserve. From here, your only option is to turn around and run back to the Hawk Ridge Trail to continue your adventure, or follow the Spring Alder Trail back to where you started.

While the first part of the trail gets a lot of traffic because it can be combined with other trails to form one of several loops, the last .4 miles of this trail are not as heavily traveled due to the dead end nature of the trail, although people on the Hawk Ridge Trail above you prevent you from achieving complete solitude.

Flora & Fauna

The trail wanders through meadows and forests, so you get to encounter various ecosystems. Animals that are found throughout the preserve can be seen along this trail, like rabbits, deer, coyotes, turkeys, bobcats, hawks, and turkey vultures.

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in California


2 Views Last Month
49 Since Jan 29, 2017



The trail ends at this gate close to the park boundary. Water runs through the gully where the trees are.
Feb 1, 2017 near La Honda, CA
While most of the preserve is made up of fields and forests, there are a few rock formations that stand out.
Feb 1, 2017 near La Honda, CA
The Alder Trail follows a grass trail beneath the Hawk Ridge Trail as it winds its way to the gate close to the park boundary.
Feb 1, 2017 near La Honda, CA
This is the Alder Spring Trail as it approaches the junction with the Charquin Trail. Deer and other animals can be seen feeding in the fields throughout the day.
Feb 1, 2017 near La Honda, CA


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